I’m a person who loves to eat, which I guess only makes sense since I love to cook; they kind of go hand in hand. I’m blessed to have a husband who let’s me experiment, which has grown me enough that in some cases I’m able to just throw stuff together. For example, I don’t think any of my sloppy joe batches have come out the same, but they’ve all been good. Most of these occurrences come in the form of sauces and marinades, but sometimes I’ve pulled out some decent entrees – next week I’ll try to recreate last month’s stuffed chicken.
But I digress. This acquired skill came in handy last Christmas season while visiting out-of-state family. The pantry wasn’t quite as stocked as expected, which led to the rough draft of this stir fry sauce. I really liked the outcome, wrote down what I could remember, and used it as a starting point to make what I’m using for this week’s main feature. I love Chinese food, and this has been great on anything I’ve put it on, be it veggies, chicken or pork.
Spicy Orange Stir Fry Sauce
- 1 C Orange Juice
- 1/3 C brown sugar
- 2 T corn starch
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. (plus more to taste) Sriracha sauce
Combine everything in a sauce pan, stir until thick and bubbling. Makes about 2 Cups.
In having an abundance of stir fry sauce, I wanted to put it on just about everything. I wondered how to work it into something different, while browsing through ideas for the week’s dinners. It dawned on me, stuffed peppers are really stuffed with anything you want, so I figured so long as the stuffing went with rice, why make a traditional stuffed pepper? Finely diced vegetables, (I used what I had on hand, this is an anything-goes dish) in rice coated in stir fry sauce – why not? My husband pointed out it was stir fry packaged in a vegetable, but he enjoyed it just the same.
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Carrot, chopped
- 4 spears asparagus, chopped
- 1/2 C frozen peas
- 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
- 4 bell peppers
- 2/3 C rice
- 3/4 C Spicy Orange sauce (see above)
In a small sauce pan, put 1-1/3 C water on to boil. When it boils, dump in rice. Reduce heat to simmer, and let cook 10-12 minutes, until done.
Preheat oven to 350.
In a wok or large skillet, heat sesame oil, and add carrot. When it begins to soften, add the onion, garlic, asparagus, ginger and peas. Stir fry until veggies are cooked through, adding cooked rice and sauce, stirring until well combined.
Cut off the tops of your whole bell peppers and seed them. Place them in the microwave, and cook for one minute, just to slightly softened. Pull them out of the microwave, then place them in a baking dish. Fill with rice and vegetables, and bake for 20 minutes.
Far and wide, my husband’s favorite veggie is garlic, so it was only natural that I picked this one out supper. This is what I call a true-love kind of dinner. The kind of food you make for people you’re comfortable around, because when you’re still trying to impress someone, you don’t make a dinner with such a potent ingredient as its star. You have to really love each other to eat a meal like this together, let your breath get that strong together, and still kiss each other good night.
Stir Fried Garlic Chicken (from The Joy of Cooking)
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp. dry white wine
- 2 tsp. light soy sauce
- 2 tsp. oyster sauce
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1tsp. sugar
- 1-1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cubed
- 4 tsp. finely minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp. finely minced peeled ginger
- 2/3 C chicken broth
- 1/2 C snow peas
- 1 medium onion, cut into 1/4″ slices
- 3 scallions, sliced lengthwise, then cut into 2″ sections
- 1 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
- 1 Tbsp. ketchup
- 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1-1/2 tsp. dark soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 Tbsp. peanut oil
In a medium bowl, combine well the cornstarch, white wine, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, salt, and sugar. Add in chicken, and cover with plastic wrap. Let marinate 20-30 minutes.
Mix well in a small bowl, the hoisin sauce, ketchup, sesame oil, dark soy sauce, and crushed red pepper. Set aside.
Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat until hot, then add the peanut oil. Add the minced garlic and ginger and stir until slightly browned. Add the chicken and stir quickly to separate the pieces. Toss and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth and stir until heated through. Add the onions and snow peas, stir, then cover and let cook for 2 minutes. Add the hoisin sauce mixture and gently stir until everything is coated. Sprinkle with scallions and serve.
Tip for the week: To get the crispiest fries, soak your cut potatoes or sweet potatoes in water to rinse off the starches, and make sure to pat dry before cooking.
Sally is a wife and domestic diva in Maryland. She approaches life with gusto, humor, and a passion that is unmatched. She is a classic woman, with a modern twist and is the kind of woman who will throw back a beer and watch Star Trek with her husband, and entertain the church croquette group with homemade cheese cake. Sally offers something for everyone, and is always experimenting and cooking up a storm in her kitchen.